Villagers evacuate after volcano in Philippines releases plume of ash, steam

Villagers evacuate after volcano in Philippines releases plume of ash, steam
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Villagers had to evacuate in the Philippines after a volcano released a plume of ash and steam on Thursday.

Thousands of villagers were moved from five high-risk villages by officials, Mark Timbal, a spokesperson for the Philippines’ disaster-response agency, told The Associated Press.

The Taal Volcano in the Batangas province is currently rated a three out of the government’s five-level warning system, according to AP.

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Level three means the volcano’s “magma is near or at the surface, and activity could lead to hazardous eruption in weeks.”

However, it is unknown if the volcano will fully erupt.

“It’s just one explosive event; it’s too early to tell,” Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said on Thursday.

Timbal reportedly said some 14,000 residents may be moved as a precautionary measure.

Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced in January 2020 after Taal erupted, the AP noted.

More than 10,000 miles away, more than 20,000 people were displaced earlier this year after a volcano erupted on St. Vincent in the Grenadines.